What does the rate increase look like?

Just like in previous rate increases, Fife City Council has adopted a “utility rate ordinance” that establishes a ladder of rate increases that go into effect over a multi-year period. Here is what the City has adopted for each utility:

Sanitary Sewer

City of Fife sanitary sewer rate charges were increased by 45%, or about $37.82 per bimonthly (two month) billing cycle for a typical single family residence. Percentage wise, this is the largest increase of the three utilities implemented in 2015.

This is the first increase in sewer utility charges since 2010. The increase addresses sewer costs charged to the City of Fife by the City of Tacoma, which treats the City of Fife’s sewage at its Portland Avenue Treatment Plant. These charges from the City of Tacoma have been increasing annually since 2010 and an increase is now necessary to “catch up” to Tacoma’s charges to Fife.

To keep pace with Tacoma’s future utility charge increase to Fife, the City Council has indexed annual sewer rate increases starting January 1, 2016 and on the first day of January in each successive year thereafter. All rates shall be increased from the previous year based upon Tacoma’s treatment cost increase and inflation.


City of Fife water rates were increased by 2%, or about $1.02 per bimonthly (two month) billing cycle for a typical single family residence. The City of Fife purchases its water from the City of Tacoma. The 2% increase addresses costs of purchasing water from the City of Tacoma and also costs associated with providing on-going system improvements.

Storm Water (Drainage)

City of Fife storm drainage rate were increased by approximately $2 per bimonthly (two month) period for a typical single family residence. The exact amount of the increase depends upon the size of the property and the amount of impervious surface. 2015 marks the third year of a six year ladder of rate increases originally adopted in 2013. The increase in storm drainage rates is associated with more stringent federal standards for stormwater management (under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program), as well as a need to finance a series of drainage improvements throughout Fife to address localized flooding.

Show All Answers

1. Why was a rate increase needed?
2. What does the rate increase look like?
3. How are rate increases determined and adopted?
4. Will there be utility rate increases in the future and, if so, what will they be?
5. Who can I contact for more information?